kidnapping allegation in surrogate baby row
8 July 2005, BRUSSELS — The Belgian couple has lodged a criminal complaint of kidnapping in the latest twist in the saga involving a Flemish woman who had agreed to bear a child for them.
8 July 2005
BRUSSELS — The Belgian couple has lodged a criminal complaint of kidnapping in the latest twist in the saga involving a Flemish woman who had agreed to bear a child for them.
The couple was left empty-handed when the mother passed the child off to a Dutch couple.
The Belgian couple's lawyer, Luc Delbrouck, said on Thursday the complaint was lodged against the surrogate mother, An Blomme, and the Dutch couple which is now taking care of baby Donna.
"There was a complaint lodged on Wednesday afternoon in relation to kidnapping, child neglect and abuse of trust," the lawyer for Geertrui Praet and Bart Philtjens said.
He said the prospective parents want to be more closely involved in the case. Delbrouck also said the Herk-de-Stad couple has been excluded from legal procedures both in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The lawyer said the prospective parents have not even seen the Oudenaarde Court ruling handed down on 29 June ordering the return of baby Donna to Belgium.
Their complaint was lodged in Hasselt Court and not in Oudenaarde Children's Court because they thought that was a better option.
There is a chance, however, that the case will be transferred anyway to Oudenaarde because legal proceedings are already being opened by that court.
Meanwhile, the adoption proceedings the Dutch couple — who live in Leusden, near Utrecht — started in the Netherlands are continuing.
Due to the fact Utrecht Court in the Netherlands is now assessing the matter, the Dutch couple's lawyer claims the Belgian Children's Court is no longer qualified to preside over the matter.
"We dispute this. Ultimately, the baby was born in Belgium and the surrogate mother still lives in the Oudenaarde court district. She has not yet lost parental authority so the Oudenaarde judge can still hand down a ruling," lawyer Delbrouck said.
Donna was initially promised by her surrogate mother to a couple from Herk-de-Stad in Flanders. But the woman refused to hand the child over to the couple after the birth and then offered it to a Belgian gay couple.
When the gay couple refused to accept the child, the surrogate mother gave Donna, possibly after money exchanged hands, to the Dutch couple in Utrecht last February. The baby is still being cared for by the Dutch couple.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news + Dutch news